Back home in Saint-Jrme, Que., a young Benoit Vaudry found himself enchanted by the Avon perfume bottles his grandmother collected, and spellbound by the different fragrances within. Now, with 20 years of experience, his finely trained nose has led him to become the resident fragrance expert at Kent of Inglewood. But his good taste isn’t only related to fine fragrances – as a past philosophy major and part-time horse-groomer, he draws inspiration from the most surprising places.
The Benoit from Monogram Coffee
Monogram Coffee is truly one of the best coffees in the world. I like my coffee a little stronger, so the Benoit is a quad-shot condensed milk latte. They named it after me because I ordered it all the time. I call it the “Benny.”
I get to spray Floris every day; I have a bottle at home and it’s just incredible. Floris is a perfume house, so it’s all they’ve been doing since 1730 – even Marilyn Monroe wore their fragrances.
I go through so much of this – I can’t go a day without it. It’s essentially a beard moisturizer, but it moisturizes your face, as well. When you wash your beard, it can fly out everywhere, so this tames it.
This is an essential oil that comes from a tree called agarwood. It’s been used to make fragrances for thousands of years, but it’s very rare and some are more expensive than gold by weight. My favourite is Bois de Borneo.
I spend quite a bit of time at Qualicum Beach. It’s funny to say, but it’s boring and I go there intentionally for that. It makes me feel grounded and connected.
Star Trek novels
I take my iPad to bed and read Star Trek novels. It’s what I do to wind down. They are my mind-numbing technique, because after you read a hundred it’s the same story over and over again. But they’re awesome.
I’ve always been drawn to horses, but I never had a chance to be around them until I moved here. Now I groom horses part time at Spruce Meadows during events. They calm me and I feel like I calm them in return.
I’ve been following her for a long time. She’s extremely outspoken, and she’s done a lot of work to end violence against women. I’m a feminist, so I really admire strong women.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir
I find existentialism very intriguing, so Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir have been two huge influences in my life. For Sartre, you always have the opportunity to change – you are born free, responsible and without excuses. It keeps me in control of my own actions.